712 336-2228


Updated September 2016

Thank you for choosing Joyful Journeys for your child/children. Hope you find this parent handbook informative. A complete manual of ‘Written policies and Procedures’ as required by 441 Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 109 is available at your request.


Joyful Journeys Child Development Center is a Gospel based child care ministry, reaching out to the whole family and community, sharing God’s love through word and deed.


Psalm 127 teaches us that children are a gift from the LORD.  We recognize that parents are the most influential people in a child’s life.  With the help of God, Joyful Journeys staff will strive to assist parents in the God given responsibility of caring for their children.  As partners in the child’s development, we will provide a safe, stimulating and stable environment where the whole child will be nurtured spiritually, physically, emotionally,socially, intellectually, and creatively.


At Joyful Journeys the teachers and childcare providers will be using Creative Curriculum, which employs a combination of child directed and teacher directed learning activities.  The various classrooms are equipped with developmentally appropriate toys, books and music appropriate for the age of the children in that room.  A large indoor play area and a large outdoor playground are also available for developing large motor skills.  Joyful Journeys strives to provide for each child’s needs academically, socially and physically in a safe, loving Christian setting. The Christian curriculum component includes music, Bible stories, and table prayers.

The Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers & Twos translates research and theory from the field of early childhood into a comprehensive curriculum with a clear organizational structure and a particular focus on routines and experiences.  Experiences include: (a) playing with toys (b) imitating and pretending (c) enjoying stories and books (d) connecting with music and movement (e) creating with art (f) tasting and preparing food (g) exploring sand and water (h) nature study outdoors.

The Creative Curriculum for Ages 3-5 meets all of the standards put forth for effective early childhood curricula by the National Association for the Education of Young children (NAEYC).  It addresses all areas of development: social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language.  It also guides teachers on how to address content in each of these areas: literacy, math, science, social studies, the arts, technology.

For more information on Creative Curriculum, browse this website:

Faith-based Curriculum: VOYAGES Exploring God’s Word

All children listen to Christian music.  Children two and older enjoy saying a table prayer.   Preschool Children have a weekly bible story introduced in the classrooms and attend chapel with Immanuel Lutheran’s Pastor Simonson.


As the director, I welcome you and your child/children to Joyful Journeys Community Child Development Center. This Parent Handbook has been prepared to explain Joyful Journeys policies and procedures and provide information on the center.

Joyful Journeys, a state licensed facility, is designed to provide a secure and stimulating environment for your child while they are in our care.  Each child receives a variety of learning experiences to foster intellectual, social and emotional growth.  They are encouraged to express their feelings to develop self-confidence and are given an opportunity to socialize with others.  Each day offers challenging active periods integrated with quiet, restful times.  We offer young children the opportunity to explore and develop in many different areas: science and nature, language arts, dramatic play, physical education, spiritual awareness.  Large outdoor and indoor play areas provide an opportunity for developing large motor skills.

Feel free to call me at any time if you have questions or concerns Joyful Journeys 712 336-2228    Personal 712 330-1234

Kari Jacobsen   Joyful Journeys Director

Joyful Journeys Governing Board: Susan Maahs, Dan Knaack, Bev Petrick, Kathy Dodd, Autumn Schmeling, Dave Mensing, Jean Jensen, Sue Boettcher

Advisory member: Pastor Dave Simonson


Childcare for children 6 weeks to 6 years

7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. year around

Closed: New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day,Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, ½ day Christmas Eve and ½ day New Years Eve.  

Preschool Classes for children 3-5 are available September – May.

All children enrolled at Joyful Journeys for childcare are automatically enrolled in the formal Preschool classes.  


Joyful Journeys is licensed by the Iowa Department of Human Services and will operate according to all state rules and regulations.  Joyful Journeys does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies and other school programs.  


The number of children that can be enrolled is limited by the space available and the adult-child ratio.  

Adult-child ratio required by DHS:


Joyful Journeys, a state licensed childcare center, is required to have the following forms on file before your child’s first day of attendance.  

  1. Registration form and fee
  2. Physical Examination form
  3. Emergency Medical Consent Form
  4. Current Immunization Record


Fresh air and outdoor activity are highly recommended to keep children healthy. The children will go out as often as weather permits all year around. It’s important that they wear shoes designed for active play.  We require that children wear athletic shoes that are securely attached to their feet with Velcro.  Proper winter dress includes; coat, snow pants, boots, hat and mittens. Please have your child dressed for play all day as the temperatures can change during the day.


Employees are required to follow all guidelines for staffing ratio, discipline procedures and center rules including confidentiality.  They are required to take continuing education classes as required by the state licensing rules.  


Volunteers will help occasionally at the center. Volunteers can be part of the ratio as long as there is a paid staff member to supervise. Usually, however, volunteers will be used in addition to staff to improve staff ratio and offer more individual care.  


Information about your child and family is confidential and will be released to other centers, schools or agencies only after the center has written permission and/or a request from you.


As a licensed childcare provider, Joyful Journeys employees are mandatory reporters by law and must report any suspected abuse or neglect.  Suspected cases of child abuse or neglect must be reported to the Department of Human Services Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-362-2178.  


Although the teachers and associates appreciate your complements and kind words, the staff may not accept a gift with a value more than $10.00.  An alternative way to show your appreciation is to donate an educational item to the classroom which helps them work with the children.  


Children 6 weeks to 2 years

The parents provide bottles, milk or formula, baby food, and disposable diapers as needed. As the child reaches the age for table food the center will provide that food unless the child requires special accommodations at which time the parent or guardian would be responsible for providing appropriate food. Each child needs a complete extra change of clothing.

Children 2 years old

The parents or guardians provide disposable diapers as needed. Meals and snacks are provided by Joyful Journeys. If your child needs special accommodations due to food allergies you may be asked to provide appropriate food replacements. Each child needs a complete extra change of clothing.

Children 3 – 6 years old

Meals and snacks are provided by Joyful Journeys.  If your child needs special accommodations due to food allergies you may be asked to provide appropriate food replacements. Each child needs a of complete extra change clothing.  


Please do not send toys from home, as they may be lost or broken and can many times be difficult for the child to share. Our classrooms will be supplied with age appropriate toys and interactive equipment and supplies.

*Preschool classes may allow or encourage items for sharing on a specific day.  


Various monthly contracts are available to meet your needs for childcare or Preschool Classes.  A fee of $10 is charged for returned checks.  If fees are over 2 weeks delinquent, we may discontinue services.  


Nutritious meals and snacks are served throughout the day. Family style meals are served to help children learn to use good manners and the proper use of silverware. A variety of foods are served, including fresh fruits and vegetables. The children are encouraged to taste all foods, but not forced to eat them. State health and safety laws prohibit food prepared at home from being served at the center. All food must be made on site with the exception of commercially prepared food or alternate food provided for children with medically documented allergies.

Joyful Journeys is a “Peanut/Tree Nut Sensitive” Facility

Research indicates that peanuts and tree nuts should not be introduced in a child’s diet until the child is 3 or 4 years old.  Therefore we feel it is best for parents to introduce their child to nuts/peanuts when they think it is appropriate.  No nuts or nut products are served at the center.  (See “Nut Sensitive” policy on the Bulletin Board)


The goal of discipline is to help children develop socially.  Discipline practices should be consistent, a logical consequence to the action of the child, and appropriate to the age and circumstances of the child.  We use a variety of techniques in helping the children develop self-discipline.  Those include positive guidance, redirection, and the setting of limits that assist the child in developing socially acceptable, behavior and emotional control. This might include a brief age appropriate “time out” if needed.  All children enrolled must be able to function in the group ratio.  For nonverbal children, biting is an age-appropriate but unacceptable form of communication.  Parents may request more information regarding our biting policy.  If a child has routine difficulties that staff cannot address without creating a hardship on the operation of the program, we will make you aware of the problems and work cooperatively to solve them.  We reserve the right to dismiss a child whose needs may be better met in a different setting.  


At Joyful Journeys we strive to prevent the spread of illness.  Your cooperation with our policies will be of great benefit to all children.

If your child has one of the following conditions, you will be notified to pick up your child as soon as possible.

In case of accident or illness, parents/guardian of the child will be called immediately. In serious cases, the child will be taken to the local hospital for treatment with parents/guardians being notified as quickly as possible.

To return to Joyful Journeys your child must be symptom free from diarrhea and vomiting for 24 hours. If there is a fever, the temperature must be normal for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medicine.  Please inform a care provider if your child has been exposed to any contagious disease, since this may affect other children in the center. Children with contagious diseases or accident injuries needing medical care will follow the guidelines prescribed by the doctor.  Additional information with common child care illnesses and exclusion criteria is available upon request.


In order to give medication in the classroom, teachers need written parental permission in the child’s file. Medication must be in the original container, labeled with the child’s name, doctor’s name, medication, time to be given, date, dosage, and directions.

Long term medication must have updated signatures throughout duration of the prescription.  There must be a separate bottle of medication that will stay with the child at school and one that is kept at home.  Both bottles must have the original label.  A written medication administration record is kept for each child receiving medication.

Sunscreen will be provided by the parents and applied with your permission.


The transition from Pull-Ups to wearing underwear is a milestone in your child’s life.  Unfortunately it usually does not happen overnight but is a gradual process.  The childcare providers start the children sitting on the toilet long before they are ready to wear underwear.  Practice sitting, along with watching other children, helps them be ready when the self initiated “feeling” comes.  Sometimes children can urinate long before they can use the toilet for their bowel movement.

The policy here is that children wear pull-ups until they can stay dry and clean for at least a week at which time the child may come to the center in underwear.  It is important for us to avoid numerous accidents because it is not safe or sanitary for your child or the other children.

It is very important to us that your child becomes independent and comfortable with that toileting process at the right time for them.  Your child will be taken to the bathroom each hour or when the child asks to go.  While your child may be able to tell you at home, that doesn’t always happen here when they are busy playing.  Please be patient with your child and us. We care very much about your child and will do the best we can to help you and your child reach this important milestone.


Parents are welcome to visit Joyful Journeys anytime during the day, unless parental contact is prohibited by court order.  Sharing information, between parent and child care providers, regarding the child is helpful and encouraged.

If someone other than mom, dad or a regular designated person is going to pick up your child during the day or at the end of the day you are required to complete a form (available in the room) giving information on who will be coming and the time.  If plans change during the day, call the center and the person taking the call will complete the form for you.  Please inform the person, who is coming for the child, that for the safety of the child, the child care provider will ask for identification, if needed.

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